Melkbelly - Nothing Valley

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I'm still pretty obsessed with this album and I'm going to take it off the general threads and make it a thread of its own where I can go on about it some more.

Catchy tunes. Great drumming. Butthole Surfers licks on the guitars (not exclusively!). Catchy tunes. Solid punk vocals that are just grating enough without being annoying (not even really grating all the time).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqkUz8iikCE
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IEjxv7oDTlQ

I actually hate the band name.

At first (what? 24-48 hours ago?) I thought maybe it was a complete fluke that I was enjoying this so much and that maybe it would wear off quickly, but the more I listen to it, the more I recognize there are a lot of elements that I would expect to like.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 16:06 (seven months ago) Permalink

Good rhythmic diversity in a lot of the vocal lines (a block of this/a block of that--something I tend to like), like in "Middle Of":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NdLUXUsBoQY

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 16:52 (seven months ago) Permalink

It's a short album, so you have to keep listening to it.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 16:53 (seven months ago) Permalink

Haha, I actually didn't repeat "catchy tunes" on purpose. I always write worse when I start single-album threads.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 16:59 (seven months ago) Permalink

local band! glad they are getting some wider recognition :)

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Friday, 3 November 2017 17:00 (seven months ago) Permalink

cool record!

Simon H., Friday, 3 November 2017 17:01 (seven months ago) Permalink

x-post (I am recognizing them!)

I still feel like there's something I want to say about her vocals that I can't quite express, but she hits some sort of underground/punk golden mean. Raw but with that annoying self-congratulatory awfulness of so many vocals in this general neighborhood.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 17:04 (seven months ago) Permalink

Yeah a bunch of folks were praising this on my FB wall yesterday and I'm intrigued.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 3 November 2017 17:35 (seven months ago) Permalink

This has been promoted to my album of the year.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 22:00 (seven months ago) Permalink

I don't understand most of what she's singing, but it doesn't bother me except on one song where I am hearing something kind of gross that may or may not be there.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 22:06 (seven months ago) Permalink

Seems like this would be scottbait.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 3 November 2017 22:14 (seven months ago) Permalink

This is reminding me that everyone in the world slept on last year's debut SAD13 (from Speedy Ortiz) solo album

imago, Saturday, 4 November 2017 11:56 (seven months ago) Permalink

12 posts and no one has mentioned Kim Deal yet

na (NA), Saturday, 4 November 2017 12:00 (seven months ago) Permalink

Maybe I should put this on ILM confessions, but I've never been into the Breeders and don't really remember what Kim Deal sounds like.

Incidentally, Melkbelly are now touring with the Breeders.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 4 November 2017 15:13 (seven months ago) Permalink

the breeders are great -- you will not be disappointed by how kim deal sounds

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Saturday, 4 November 2017 15:17 (seven months ago) Permalink

I've listened to them, but it just never clicked. (I probably won't be going to see any Melkbelly shows, with or without the Breeders, since I never get out to shows or much of anything else due to health issues.)

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 4 November 2017 15:20 (seven months ago) Permalink

what does kim deal have to do with melkbelly

Beret McKesson (jaymc), Saturday, 4 November 2017 15:22 (seven months ago) Permalink

Melkbelly vocalist/guitarist Miranda Winters’ unphased sing-speak voice on the previously released tracks “Kid Kreative” and “Middle Of”, that of a new Deal sister heretofore unknown, makes the first half of their “sounds like X-meets-Y” equation easy enough. It is the “Breeders plus what?” question that lingers. The Chicago band make noisy rock, but not quite noise rock. Too many hooks unspoil the static broth. Melkbelly is abrasive, but not antisocial.

https://www.popmatters.com/melkbelly-nothing-valley-2497173372.html

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 4 November 2017 15:29 (seven months ago) Permalink

There's more variety on this than I am giving it credit for having, too. It's not all aggressive and unrelenting (although I tend to especially like those parts in this case). Lots of twists and turns in the songs.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 4 November 2017 17:54 (seven months ago) Permalink

every review I've read mentions the Breeders. Melkbelly doesn't always sound like a Deal band but you can tell it's an influence, especially in the singing. More bands should have a Kim Deal influence.

na (NA), Saturday, 4 November 2017 18:54 (seven months ago) Permalink

Raw but with that annoying self-congratulatory awfulness of so many vocals in this general neighborhood.

Meant without (obviously?).

Another single album thread I started that I screwed up. Really good album too.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 5 November 2017 00:37 (seven months ago) Permalink

I wish I weren't lower middle class and had my own house where I could play this loudly.

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 5 November 2017 00:40 (seven months ago) Permalink

Traditional circles in the woods. . . .

_Rudipherous_, Sunday, 5 November 2017 00:58 (seven months ago) Permalink

This is really good.

The Fortnightly Intruder (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Tuesday, 7 November 2017 10:19 (seven months ago) Permalink

The beginning of Cawthra is just delicious, coming out of the transitional Return to Pan Candy Mountain.

The album is an instant classic. They make it sound easy, too.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 05:54 (seven months ago) Permalink

A bit tired of the 90s comparisons too. I'm at least hearing the 80s roots of some of the 90s music to which they're being compared. Of course, I don't really know 90s rock so maybe I'm missing the obvious, but one reason I don't know 90s rock is that it almost never does for me what this does. (Hook of R.O.R.O.B. not so far off from X's White Girl, but not as clean, and of course the two songs sound nothing like one another.)

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 06:05 (seven months ago) Permalink

Love how the guitar just skips across the field of the song at 3:26. Lots of that attention to sound/noise that stands out throughout.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 06:09 (seven months ago) Permalink

3:26 of R.O.R.O.B.

_Rudipherous_, Wednesday, 8 November 2017 06:10 (seven months ago) Permalink

This is a really cool album

the underground is pass-agg (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 14 November 2017 18:48 (seven months ago) Permalink

This is good!
the heavier moments are a little Am Rep to me, like a poppy Hammerhead vibe, or Freedom Fighters

I honestly have no idea how this thread could not be full of 90s references, this so 90s

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 14:08 (seven months ago) Permalink

Ha yeah. I was reminded of Silverfish during some of the noisier parts.

The Fortnightly Intruder (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 14:12 (seven months ago) Permalink

yeah I could def see that
so many of the best bands of the 90s are lost to time

Universal LULU Nation (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 15 November 2017 14:46 (seven months ago) Permalink

i think you and others on here do a good job keeping many of them afloat in the wider consciousness :)

imago, Wednesday, 15 November 2017 15:02 (seven months ago) Permalink

Of the many odd occurrences on that tour, one that stuck out was a stop at a motel in Tucumcari, New Mexico. "The room was full of toads infesting everything in the bathrooms, bathtubs. We were stepping on toads because they were blending into the carpet, says Winters, explaining the line "Further than the eye can see a toad, some soap, and mega eats." Like stumbling into a room with a biblical plague-level amount of toads, "Middle Of" is a headfuck.

Tucumcari. Says it all. I knew an aspiring country singer from there. Not sure what happened to her.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 16 November 2017 03:20 (seven months ago) Permalink

90s: feel free to make all the 90s comparisons you want. Maybe it will lead me to 90s bands I like. (Not likely though.) I still could easily see them being a mid-80s alternative band of some sort, alongside Sonic Youth, Scratch Acid, Butthole Surfers, and anything similar.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 16 November 2017 06:28 (seven months ago) Permalink

what are some 90s bands you like?

alpine static, Thursday, 16 November 2017 06:29 (seven months ago) Permalink

So few. I don't think it's worth the effort of trying to figure out my 90s rock aversion.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 16 November 2017 06:33 (seven months ago) Permalink

I don't know why everyone doesn't like everything I like to exactly the same degree that I like it. More superlatives, people.

_Rudipherous_, Thursday, 23 November 2017 05:55 (seven months ago) Permalink

I like the album.

billstevejim, Friday, 24 November 2017 04:00 (seven months ago) Permalink

What is she singing on RUNXRN that sounds like "can you really fart?" I need to get this (hopefully) misheard lyric out of my head.

(Less into her voice in live performances. I think it needs the studio help, but that's okay.)

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 27 November 2017 18:27 (six months ago) Permalink

Nice album. Kinda immature though imo: some of the songs seems to fall apart within themselves melody wise. Maybe yhe next one will be better.

nostormo, Monday, 27 November 2017 19:15 (six months ago) Permalink

not on the album but i was feeling this video last year

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKvEnBovgZ4

billstevejim, Monday, 27 November 2017 19:20 (six months ago) Permalink

Kinda immature though imo: some of the songs seems to fall apart within themselves melody wise.

I don't hear this. They aren't going purely for straight song form and I never get the sense that that's because Miranda Winters can't handle that sort of songwriting, but more that it's simply not what they are shooting for. The songs falling apart within themselves is intentional I would think. Again, that can be an excuse for the inability to do anything else, but I don't hear it that way here. Even if it's true that they are making a virtue out of necessity (due to songwriting limitations), I like the results.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 04:37 (six months ago) Permalink

Na OTM regarding the Kim deal vocal influence. It's hard not to hear. This album rocks a ton

In a slipshod style (Ross), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 05:28 (six months ago) Permalink

This sounds cool. Definitely a few Lightning Bolt fans in the band, the drumming is rife with Chippendale-isms.

Cannonley Adderall (InternationalWaters), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 14:05 (six months ago) Permalink

Possibly too many dog references, which is just too easy these days when dog worship has gotten completely out of hand in the United States.

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 17:53 (six months ago) Permalink

the drum production is my platonic ideal for this kind of record - tinny and narrow, allowing the thrash/noise to tower over it

In a slipshod style (Ross), Tuesday, 28 November 2017 17:54 (six months ago) Permalink

Yes, I love the drums on this. Some of that must be the production.

(Is a God to live in a dog? No!)

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 28 November 2017 17:57 (six months ago) Permalink

Finally listening to Pennsylvania. Finally got the courage to listen. (I sometimes am scared to hear earlier things by bands in a case like this where I have fallen hard for a recent recording.) It's okay so far. Definitely not nearly as much of a standout as Nothing Valley.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 December 2017 05:36 (six months ago) Permalink

Elk Mountain and Piss Wizard are more like it. The drumming is really there in Piss Wizard.

_Rudipherous_, Friday, 1 December 2017 06:04 (six months ago) Permalink

love this song

https://melkbelly.bandcamp.com/track/cawthra-2

In a slipshod style (Ross), Monday, 11 December 2017 05:27 (six months ago) Permalink

I feel like a lot more people on ILM need to hear this because it's something they would like, but I'm not sure who those people are.

_Rudipherous_, Monday, 11 December 2017 05:33 (six months ago) Permalink

I'm one of those :) Thank you for stanning, it made me check it out and I love it

willem, Monday, 11 December 2017 05:55 (six months ago) Permalink

I keep recommending this to people and they keep ignoring me

The Fortnightly Intruder (GOTT PUNCH II HAWKWINDZ), Monday, 11 December 2017 06:18 (six months ago) Permalink

^ same

In a slipshod style (Ross), Monday, 11 December 2017 06:31 (six months ago) Permalink

At some point in the past few weeks, someone made an imprecise comparison between Wolf Alice and Throwing Muses. I'm going to have to track that post down and send that person to this thread. I spent the first few songs of Nothing Valley trying to imagine what I would change about them to turn into 50 Foot Wave songs. Eventually I was able to appreciate it as its own thing though. Great record!

how's life, Monday, 11 December 2017 11:43 (six months ago) Permalink

Great year for rock music. Snail mail, Madeline Kenney, wolf Alice and this one! Others of course I'm neglecting to mention

In a slipshod style (Ross), Monday, 11 December 2017 20:18 (six months ago) Permalink

Some Cawthra lore, in case you've missed it: they blew out the electricity while they were recording that song, which is why it ends abruptly. Her laugh at the end makes a lot more sense once you know that. (Find an interview for an accurate non-paraphrased account.)

_Rudipherous_, Tuesday, 12 December 2017 18:37 (six months ago) Permalink

That's fucking dope man!

In a slipshod style (Ross), Tuesday, 12 December 2017 22:02 (six months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

I think people don't appreciate this album because of how smoothly it goes down. It's smooth noise punk.

_Rudipherous_, Saturday, 3 February 2018 16:44 (four months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/DfqY9pZXkAAbEeP.jpg

na (NA), Thursday, 14 June 2018 17:05 (one week ago) Permalink

cool move by america's best friend dave grohl i guess

na (NA), Thursday, 14 June 2018 17:06 (one week ago) Permalink

He's got Wolf Alice opening for him now in Europe.

how's life, Thursday, 14 June 2018 17:14 (one week ago) Permalink

dang
big tymers!

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Thursday, 14 June 2018 17:53 (one week ago) Permalink


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